HEALTHY CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE {GRAIN FREE OPTION}

This Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is a delicious comforting classic. It’s so easy to make, packed with protein, loaded with broccoli and full of vibrant herby aromatics. It has a special real food secret ingredient too and bakes up beautifully in less than an hour.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole is the perfect cozy and homey dinner!

Casseroles always remind me of my mom. She used to make delicious chicken casseroles when I was a kid. All of them were topped with, wait for it … crumbled up potato chips. And I loved it!

Those potato chips certainly were not healthy and neither was the condensed soup or the mayo in the creamy base. Now, I loved it as a kid, but I kind of shudder at the thought of generic store-bought mayonnaise and that condensed soup certainly was not real food.

YOU WON’T FIND ANY CONDENSED SOUP OR MAYONNAISE IN THIS HEALTHY CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE!

This deeply flavored chicken broccoli casserole is chock-full of healthy ingredients!

My favorite healthy secret ingredient to form this casserole’s creamy base is Nancy’s organic plain whole milk yogurt. Not only does it add a lovely creamy texture, but it also adds that traditional tang that you’d get with mayonnaise.

Plus, adding yogurt to this casserole adds another layer of protein! This casserole is jam packed with protein because of the yogurt and chicken.

I have been using Nancy’s products for many, many years … ever since I was a kid.

As a kid I didn’t know much about the history of Nancy’s, I just knew that I liked the way their yogurt tasted. But as an adult, I learned that Nancy’s is such a cool company and so inline with my thoughts on real food and sustainability.

One of my favorite things about this company is that they have been focusing on sustainability and organic practices way before it became popular. I also love that they are family owned and operated in Eugene, Oregon {since 1960}.

They offer TRUE live probiotic cultured products. Their whole milk yogurt contains over 56 billion active probiotic cultures in each serving! That is so awesome since we all know how important probiotics are for gut-health.

This crazy good chicken broccoli casserole uses two of my favorite Nancy’s cultured products – organic plain whole milk yogurt and cultured organic sour cream. {P.S. Nancy’s organic sour cream is hands down my absolute favorite sour cream! I’ve been using it for so many years and I have never found another that compares.}   

This healthy chicken broccoli casserole is full of so many lovely ingredients! 

It starts with some cooked chicken, preferably organic or pasture raised. I like to use leftover chicken from cooking a whole chicken in my Instant Pot {you know I LOVE my Instant Pot since I’m writing an Instant Pot cookbook}. You can also use slow cooker chicken, leftover roasted chicken or simply just boil some chicken and shred it or cube it.

Next up, a whole bunch of beautiful broccoli florets! Broccoli is so nourishing and tastes amazing in this casserole! Pair this beautiful green beauty with some basics like onion, garlic and carrots.

Add some vibrant dried dill, savory thyme, a couple other spices plus some refreshing lemon juice and zest. The herbs and lemon add amazing layers of flavor to this casserole!

Then mix it all together with lots of yogurt, a little sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and a little bit of cooked rice {the rice is totally optional and it’s delicious with or without}.

WHERE TO FIND NANCY’S YOGURT

You can find Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt and other Nancy’s products at a store near you by entering your city or zip code into their store locator. In Northern California, Nancy’s products can be found at most Raleys and Bel Air Markets, Sprouts Farmers Market, Nugget Markets, Whole Foods Market and many natural foods co-op grocery stores.

CASSEROLE’S ARE MEANT TO BE SHARED WITH LOVED ONES.

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love so much about casseroles is they bring people together. Casseroles give that homey feeling and make people feel loved with every bite.

You can batch make this delicious casserole and stick it in your freezer to bake off at a later time. You can portion it out and eat it throughout the week. You can pre-make a batch and bring it to a new mom or loved one that needs a special meal. You can make it for one and nourish your body throughout the week {or months if frozen}.

It’s such a flexible, comforting meal. So go ahead and make it for one or share it with those you love.

HEALTHY CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE {GRAIN FREE OPTION}
HEALTHY CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE {GRAIN FREE OPTION}

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

author emily sunwell-vidaurri – https://www.recipestonourish.com

yield 8-12 servings

This Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is a delicious comforting classic. It’s so easy to make, packed with protein, loaded with broccoli and full of vibrant herby aromatics. It has a special real food secret ingredient too and bakes up beautifully in less than an hour.

Ingredients

  • 2 cooked skinless chicken breast, preferably organic, shredded or cubed
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, ghee or avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Nancy’s Organic Cultured Sour Cream {my favorite sour cream!}
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, preferably organic, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cooked white rice – optional

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with healthy fat of choice and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, add a steamer basket, broccoli and enough water to steam the broccoli {usually about 1/2 cup to 1 cup water depending on the size of your pan}. Cover with a lid, bring water to a boil and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully remove the steamer basket with broccoli. Set aside.
  3. While the broccoli is steaming, add healthy fat of choice to a saucepan and turn the stovetop to medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add cooked chicken, steamed broccoli, onion-carrot mixture, yogurt, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, onion flakes, dill, sea salt, thyme, garlic powder, lemon juice, lemon zest, and optional cooked rice. Stir until fully combined and evenly distributed. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, or until the cheesy top is lightly golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

You can use leftover roasted chicken, chicken that has been cooked in an Instant Pot or slow cooker or chicken that has been boiled.

Source

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